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Bird communities in a selectively logged tropical montane forest are dominated by small, low-elevation species

Chanda, R and Rai, S and Tamang, B and Munda, B and Pradhan, DK and Rai, M and Biswakarma, A and Srinivasan, U (2023) Bird communities in a selectively logged tropical montane forest are dominated by small, low-elevation species. In: Global Ecology and Conservation, 47 .

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Tropical montane forests are critical centres of terrestrial biodiversity and endemism, and face a range of threats, including selective logging and climate change. However, few studies have explored the joint influence of these threats, particularly in tropical mountains, despite how crucial it is to understand the cumulative impact of forest loss and climate change on biodiversity. We used mist-netting and bird ringing data from a long-term (10-year) community and population monitoring program to examine how the composition of the mid-elevation Eastern Himalayan understorey bird community changed in the mid-elevation primary and logged forest. Because logged forest is warmer than primary forest, we hypothesised that the bird community would shift towards lower elevation species, with a faster transition in logged forest. Further, because logged forest has lower arthropod abundance, we hypothesised that the primary forest community would have larger species than the logged forest community. Our study shows that the bird community in the logged forest shifted towards lower-elevation species than in the primary forest (although this was not statistically significant). Moreover, we found that smaller species were better able to colonise warmer logged forest, whereas larger species reached higher densities in primary forest. These trends are likely to be driven by climate change causing upslope range shifts and logged forest selecting for species that are likely to tolerate the consequently altered abiotic (higher temperatures) and biotic (lower resources) environment. These findings have significant implications for understanding the impacts of forest loss and climate change on biodiversity, particularly in tropical montane forests. © 2023

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Global Ecology and Conservation
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2023 07:07
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2023 07:07
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/83378

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